Harper heads Baseball America prep All-America team

Three area baseball players recently were named to Baseball America’s 2009 High School All-America Team.

The first team is headed by former Las Vegas High catcher Bryce Harper, who will forgo his final two years of high school to play next season at the College of Southern Nevada.

Harper was named the publication’s national High School Player of the Year in June. He was the first non-senior to receive the award in its 18 years of existence.

The first team also includes Bishop Gorman senior first baseman Jeff Malm, and Bonanza junior shortstop Kris Bryant was chosen to the third team.

Harper hit .626 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs in 39 games this season.

He graced the June 8 cover of Sports Illustrated, then announced June 13 he had enrolled at CSN in hopes of becoming eligible for the 2010 draft.

Harper also recently was named by USA Baseball as one of 34 invitees to the 18-and-under national team trials, which will be Sept. 12 to 17 in Cary, N.C.

Malm, a Southern California signee and the Louisville Slugger Player of the Year, batted .564 with 17 home runs and 69 RBIs to lead the Gaels to their fourth straight Class 4A state title.

Malm, a fifth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, said Wednesday he might not decide until August whether to attend USC or sign with the Rays.

Bryant, who has given an oral commitment to the University of San Diego, hit .486 with 14 home runs and 34 RBIs as a junior.